From folk heroes to video game characters: “The Legend of Tianding”

In 2017, Chi Po-lin, director of Beyond Beauty-TAIWAN FROM ABOVE, left the world and many of his works have been cancelled. He left behind many valuable image assets, including aerial photographs of Taiwan accumulated during the 25 years from the 1990s to 2017. These materials are considered irreplaceable not only in terms of preserving the beauty of Taiwan, but also in terms of academic research, advocacy for environmental protection, and environmental education. Therefore, the Chipolin Foundation has designed a “Digital Archive” program to appreciate the director’s efforts and enable future generations to make the most of these precious images of changes in nature, humanity and landscape. did. After learning rope for 2 years, it’s perfect for your purpose. In addition to establishing an online photo database to carry on their mission to maintain Taiwan’s records, they digitize, classify and archive Chi’s work.

According to Chi Po-lin Foundation statistics, Chi Po-lin has over 2,500 hours of flight, 100,000 traditional films, 500,000 digital photographs, and about 1,000 hours of aerial shots. Contributed to. Inevitably, the Foundation will spend a lot of money, time, and human resources to file and organize such huge amounts of image data. But only when people get together, a relay marathon for digital archive specialists and professional volunteers can be a beautiful and exciting journey.

What is a digital archive?

Digital archives are digital storage locations for the permanent storage of valuable physical or non-physical information through digitization such as photography, scanning, audiovisual photography, text entry, etc., in combination with metadata containing attribute data. is.

There are three workflows for the ChiPo-lin Foundation to run a digital archive program:

  • Traditional Movies: Select Movies-> Scan as Digital File-> Add Attribute Data-> Archive
  • Digital Photo: Select Photo-> Add Attribute Data-> Archive
  • Aerial video: Select video-> Add attribute data-> Archive

In addition to Qi’s image and video digitization and archiving, the digital archiving program also includes the upgraded “iTaiwan8 Taiwan Aerial Photo Database” settings. This is a comprehensive online photo database that gives you more flexibility in using Qi’s work and reaching more people.

How does the Foundation organize the aerial photographs accumulated over 2500 hours of flight?

  • Organize movies / digital scan

Digital Archive Specialist Chan Yu-wen is responsible for organizing traditional films. There are about 100,000 of his raw films. Some are slightly out of focus due to the vibration of the helicopter, while others look like landscapes and compositions based on continuous and repetitive flight paths. One of Chan Yu-wen’s tasks is to inspect them, select them with a magnifying glass, mark the location and correct the image information.

“The most common problem with organizing films is manual errors. The data left is probably organized or created by Director Qi or other volunteers. Wrongly labeled or wrongly labeled. It could be marked, ”Chan Yu-wen said in her experience that the photos of Taipei Main Station have been labeled for years. She looked for clues and tried to cross-check from the temperature or stock price displayed on the news sticker on the signboard of the correct year photo. She sounds like a detective doing an investigation, but this process almost always requires a high degree of concentration and observation skills.

After selecting the film, she proceeds with scanning and digitization. However, this is not an easy procedure. The oldest movie left by Chi Po-lin, apart from overall quality control and file management, was produced at least 11 years ago, so it corrected the colors of the old faded movie and spotted the photo. Must be removed and saved. Before moving on, take them as high resolution digital images.

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When organizing traditional films, specialists need to inspect them, select them with a magnifying glass, mark locations, and correct image information.

“Adding attribute data” means adding all kinds of descriptive information to an image or video. Chen Shen-ying, Deputy Head of Digital Archives, will take images taken by Director Chi, for example. The range of attribute data covers the theme and location of the shoot, as well as keywords for interpreting the landscape. The most time-consuming part is positioning and keyword creation.

“Positioning” means identifying the position and coordinates of the subject in the image. In some cases this can be deducted from the flight trajectory, but positioning should be based primarily on expert geographic knowledge and hints from photographs in the absence of orbit. If the image was taken long ago, or if the landscape changed dramatically, experts should refer to more historical maps or evidence of reasoning.

“You have to interpret the photos one by one and add the attribute data. Traditional cameras don’t have a built-in positioning feature, so you usually only see long rows of mountain ridges. “When we need to map to historical data or satellite images and identify them as accurately as possible,” Chen Shen-ying said.

“Creating keywords” seems relatively easy, but in reality it’s hard to decide which keywords to use alone. The first is to recognize the details of your photos and videos, such as the type of crop on your farm. If you need to collect other information to help you make a decision. In addition, the scale of the aerial photograph is different. You need to consider the rules for creating keywords for the percentage of a particular landscape and set them accordingly. Last but not least, experts also need to create keywords based on the user’s search habits from the user’s perspective.

Therefore, in the process of adding attribute data, the Chi Po-lin Foundation consulted with several experts to develop brainstorming and logic for creating keywords for Taiwanese aerial photography. Classification, modification, and review are performed on the logic to ensure proper organization and use of images and footage.


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Specialists need to compare the image to many maps and add attribute data based on predefined rules to ensure consistency.

The process of archiving motion media is more diverse and complex than organizing photos. In the first place, specialists need to check the inventory of about 1,000 hours of aerial footage before performing special formats of file conversion and backup. The next step is to establish a logic programming and file management system for adding more attribute data.

“When organizing the footage, we faced two challenges: on the other hand, each of the footage could be longer, such as a helicopter taking off in Taichung and landing in Pingtung. You need to identify the landscape and location of the frame. On the other hand, helicopters have high vibration levels and climb long vertical distances. Rolling shutter distortion effects can occur.1“Audiovisual production specialist Chung Amejo explained. The difficulty of archiving is greatly enhanced by the different file formats, qualities, and footage lengths created at different times.


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Audiovisual data archiving includes reading large numbers of files, reviewing each frame, adding attribute data for each segment, modifying colors, and more.

Participate in a digital archive marathon and convey the beauty of Taiwan

The scope of the digital archive program is from step-by-step definition of operating procedures, unification of color languages, purchase of image processing equipment, training of volunteers and internships, and human resources to avoid manual errors due to huge amount of collaborative processing. It extends to securing support. Of the data. Wang Li-wen, Deputy Director of Diverse Content Creativity, said that “digital archives” are not as easy as they say. The process is very detailed and complex and involves everyone’s constant concentration, patience, attention to detail and passion.

The iTaiwan8 Taiwan Aerial Photo Database is one of the objectives of the Chi Po-lin Foundation’s digital archive program. Launching the enhanced version is just the first step. After completing the archiving of a huge amount of image data, the Foundation aims to continue recording in Taiwan, so images and videos will not stop in 2017.

“Talking to the environment through images” is something that Director Qi has been working on for a lifetime and will continue to be the Foundation. Qi’s life is underpinned by a digital archive program, which also serves as a driving force for the Foundation. Building a photo database to store images showing changes in the landscape of Taiwan as a whole is not easy. The Chi Po-lin Foundation is urgently seeking help from all disciplines to work together to establish Taiwan’s most amazing photo database. Protect your legacy image from Chi Paulin, convey the precious image of our land across generations, and bring it to greater value.

Donate to support the Chi Paulin Foundation and speak about the environment through images.

Note 1: The rolling shutter generated by a digital camera with a built-in CMOS is an image shooting method that shoots a fast-moving subject with an electronic shutter. This even produces a predictable tilt or distortion of the vertical object. (Source: Wikipedia) From folk heroes to video game characters: “The Legend of Tianding”

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